The dream — and the need — to reinvent oneself, to take one’s life into one’s hands and transform it is all that is needed in the times of existence where all one wanted was to have the chance to exercise the sacred right to conquer the bread that feeds the body and the peace that soothes the soul without interference of any kind, as if living were something simple and as full of vigor as a game.
In “Brian Banks: A Dream Interrupted”, director Tom Shadyac tells the story of an American football star who has fallen from grace, but who cannot accept his ruin and fights, until the score turns in his favor. It’s not exactly easy, but it’s just what we have to do in those moments when everything we thought was ours seems further and further away, and for reasons that are so absurd that they escape the understanding of anyone who values true justice — especially because justice itself proves to be a jumble of mistakes and contradictions, a mixture that is always very dangerous when it concerns individuals who do not arouse the interest of the majority.
Doug Atchison bases his script on the life of Brian Banks, the former NFL player, the professional American football league in the United States, falsely accused of rape when he began to see his talent recognized in the sport. Poorly advised, Banks ended up facing a trial that reduced him to dust, served six years in prison, and since then had to get used to seeing his name associated with sexual scandals whenever another episode of the kind appeared in the press.
Of course, in days of female empowerment, the slightest reference to a man even slightly suspected of such a heinous crime is enough to suggest the most heterogeneous audiences, but here we have to be calm. Shadyac uses Atchison’s argument in such a way as to make it clear that, even though the athlete added all the evidence regarding natural guilt crystallizing around his figure, this time it all smelled like a crude setup, whose true motive pointed to a situation even more outrageous — and not for him.
A rising quarterback at the prestigious Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California, Banks, vividly played by Aldis Hodge, sees his world fall apart when he dumps a girl who seduced him. He and the girl — whose name had been kept confidential and in the story is called Kennisha Rice, played by Xosha Roquemore — headed to the back of the corridor of one of the most remote wings of the university, but along the way all the spaces were closed. full, and many with the doors wide open, meaning an attack like the one alleged by the alleged victim would have been impossible.
The great irony that the director makes a point of highlighting is that the title character, a good-looking man with a reputation as a conqueror, plunges into the greatest hell of his life precisely because he dares to break with the stereotypes that certainly anathematized him to small mouth. Had he gone ahead, the girl would have been satisfied, possibly forgotten him in just over a week and life would have taken its course.
From the second act onwards, Banks receives guidance from Justin Brooks, the lawyer played by Greg Kinnear, and arouses the interest of personal trainer Karina Cooper, who helps him get back in shape. Melanie Liburd is a pleasant surprise as she shows the character’s charm for a man whom she would have to loathe, due to an intimate trauma from the past, but who inspires in her genuine passion and solidarity, right and without fear.
Film: Brian Banks: A Dream Interrupted
Direction: Tom Shadyac